tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 16, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
lifestyles don't suit your religious. that's not where many of us thought not religious freedom was about. right now, let's go to andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> thank you, right now, all of the president's men. the president acknowledging he is under investigation while taking his own justice department for "telling them to fire comey" but that contradicts what he told lester holt. >> and the deputy attorney general in charge of the probe issuing an unusual late night
himself. while vice president pence lawyers up. >> the greatest privilege of my life to serve to a president who is keeping his word to the american pem. >> isolation is never good for a country or businesses. and one of the capitol police officers throws out the first pitch last night at an emotional ballpark.
♪ god bless america, my home sweet home ♪ and good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. more evidence today that the white house is consumed by the investigation. president trump issuing an extraordinary tweet just this morning saying i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, witch hunt. a seeming reference to rob rosenstein. and mike pence has hired a lawyer to represent him in the
investigation. and the hiring of a private attorney was "very routine." legal and political experts today still trying to parse the meaning of an unusual late night statement from rosenstein saying this -- unclear what he meant by that. in an hour, the president will be announcing what he intended e to be the focus today before his tweet and major rollback to the opening of cuba. in the heart of miami's little havana, these pictures from miami as well. we have it all covered for you, kelly o'donnell is live in miami. we have ari melburn, and joining me here onset is kristen well k
-- welker, with apologies to all of you, let's start with kristen. what is the president doing tweeting about the investigation. his staff has been frustrated as you know better than anyone, that we in the media are not focusing on what they're doing every day. they're in miami, and they think it is politically potent, and he is stepping on his own message. >> he is, and we see this almost on a daily basis. think about yesterday, sarah huckabee sanders had a press gaggle. refer all questions to the president's outside council, and in an afternoon tweet storm he went after his former rival. hillary clinton, asking them to refocus on the e-mail investigation. they found there was no wrong doing, and today, as you open the show, he confirmed there is in fact an investigation.
it is not clear that he even intended to do that with a tweet. i think it was about lashing out, he is very frustrated, he is stepping on his own message. yesterday he rolled out a new apprentice program and it didn't get much coverage. >> and today, a focus on cuba, pete williams, let me talk about what he told lester holt for why he fired james comy. >> you made the decision? >> there is no good time to do it by the way. >> in your letter, you said i accepted their recommendation. >> i was going to fire them
regard less of recommendation. >> so he said he was going to fire him anyway, and now he is blaming rosenstein for telling him to fire james comey. >> it builds a case against him, i don't think it is a secret that they concluded that he should be fired and told the president that he should be fired. i also think it is interesting that he says he is being investigated for firing the director of the fbi, but they are probably also looking at mr. comey's claim that he said can't you lay off michael flin? >>. >> and let me ask you about the note that went out late last night, can you give me the back
story there? >> we're told that this has been bugging the deputy state's attorney general. there was a few stories that he thought really bothered him, ago suggesting that he met with comey and denied the request. then some other stories about describing what is going on in the special council investigation, and it all reached a boiling point, but he insisted he did this on his own, he was not prompted by anyone else, and it is interesting to note that rob rosenstein doesn't know what robert mueller is doing. i confirmed again today that he has not discussed with robert mueller what his special council is investigating.
so he doesn't know what they are doing, nor of course does he know where the leaks are coming from. the official says it was intended as a message to the people in the government to stop leaking. >> and the hiring by the vice president, he told reporters in miami after he arrived here today that this was routine. tell me what you know about it? >> it is routine on it's own. there is nothing to be inferred from someone retaining a council, and we said repeatedly on air that would be wise for many people in the white house. he is widely respected, he is a fros cue tor yal advisor. it has been basically someone who has handled sensitive investigations on both sides for
the republican staff. this is an information we don't no what it touches, and the vice president might be -- to that point, i want to just echo some of the legal nuance that pete was sharing so folks could understand, and it says i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director, right? that is only an plmt among several in a criminal inquiry. no investigate starts with that, but you could have multiple elements of a crime. they're looking to see if an action, perhaps a firing or anothertivi activity, like a me
state, or other activities if you're looking at a experience, all of the elements if they were met. an action that might have an impact on an investigation, but no corrupt mental state, they might be off of the hook or in the clear. so it is interesting, the tweet has so much in it, it refers back to why the deputy attorney general might need to rescues. but it also seems to misstate or even, i would say, potentially misunderstand the nature of the obstruction inquirely on behalf of the president. >> and i wanted to just share i know that kristin remembers this very well, vividly. this was a questioning about whether or not the president was under investigation. >> did the president fire director comey? >> as you know very clearly, it
has been stated repeatedly. he is not under investigation, and the director of national intelligence shows no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any russian officials. >> but they said there is potential ties. >> that's not what this was about. >> well, and that shows that at that stage, at least on may 10th, as far as the vice president was concerned, there was no such investigation, and dia diane feinstein, she is very concerned about what she is seeing from the president's tweets, and she is increasingly concerned that he will try to fire robert mueller but
rosenstein. if the president thinks he can fire him and replace him with someone that will shut down the investigation, he is wrong. it is clear he has tried. kelly o'donnell, you covered the hill for so long as well as the white house, she is not just speaking without hour and noj, she knows of what she speaks. >> and at this point, she is the top democratic on the judiciary committee. this is very much in her lane, andrea, and she is trying to keep the pressure on the president as well. the attention that get also helps shape the conversation around this putting some pressure on the president. it is hard to stay if there is any actions from a lawmaker,
even a prominent one. he doesn't have the direct authority to fire the special council. it is a step away from that, and it would be the top person at the justice department. he has rescuesed himself in the russia manner into there is a flow chart of authority that we would have to follow, but if the president is going to try to shake up the investigation, and we have no indication that he is going to do that, certainly dianne feinstein wants to get ahead of that. she also wants additional hearings for her committee with a specific kind of oversight they have to the department of justice, wants to shape how this will ultimately playout. that is certainly a big part of the voice that she has had. formally the chairman of intelligence, so she knows a lot about what happens behind the scenes. i'm in little havana here in the
theater where the president will be speaking in a little while, and this is very much a pro trump audience. we have had people cheering spontaneously. also a number of people chanting "no fake news." this is a community that seems very much in favor of president trump's policies. and today, as you have been discussions, his administration trying to push forward on something they consider a important policy objective. you know that so well having been there so many times, but this is a partial roll back aimed at trying to reduce u.s. dollars going to coup man military and security, shifting the emphasis back to citizens, but in this community in
florida, it is a popular move. >> popular indeed in that section of one city in florida, that is very carefully sected. so kelly o'donnell, kristen welker, thank you for getting us off to a strong start. speaker ryan has visited steve scalise in the hospital this morning. next we'll show you some of the emotional moments from last night's congressional baseball game. stay with us here on "andrea mitchell reports. why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. [hissing] uh- i-
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♪ for the land of the free, and the home, of the brave ♪ >> it was an unforgettable night at nats park here in washington. democrats and republicans united in purpose, coming together in prayer, all for team scalise in a game dedicated to their colleague. doctors say he is showing some improvement after a third surgery.
the game raised over a million dollars for charities. it included a fund for fallen law enforcement offices after two were wounded during the attack while protecting them. scott was at thursday's game and joins me now. my thoughts are with all of you, tell me about the mood and out of tragedy can come of the bipartisanship that we saw last night and the good spirit, can it last? >> thank you, i believe so. i think everyone is standing in solidarity. you definitely have a different tone right now in washington. hopefully it holds. and quite frankly anyone with a
platform out there to tone down some of the vicious rhetoric on both sides quite frankly. i think that is important for the american people. >> i was talking to nancy pelosi and about concerns that a number of colleagues have. you know, a combat veteran, a pilot, talking about threats against her, threats against others, how do you go about your daily business? there have been threats for many members. me personally i have not felt unsafe. the worry for me, of course, are my staff, my family, and you know folks like that, of course, that are close to me that i worry the most about. we take every security precaution in townhalls to mitigate any risk or harm
towards any of them, i have not felt unsafe, but we will take every security available to us every way we need to secure ourselves and our office back in the district, and a ieheightene sense of awareness. >> it was a democratic victory, over the areas, the record shows 40 victories and one tide, but i understand they brought the trophy to ska lea-- scalise's office. they brought the try if i to his office, and i think that was appropriate, proper, and something that we're very grateful for. a great game, as you said, we
raised an incredible amount of money, the first pitch was thrown out by officer bailey and if he and his partner were not there, we would have lot more lives. >> and his fellow officer, officer griner is still in the hospital recovering. let's keep the spirit going. and lawyering up, vice president pence hiring council to deal with the deal with the russia probe. two former house staffers are joining me to break it down here on andrea mitchell reports. stay with us here on msnbc. ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira works by targeting and helping to...
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from the growing investigation. joining me now is elise jordan. in new york today and stephanie cutter, welcome both. first to you, elise, lawyering up, it is what people should do, they need their own attorneys, the white house council is representing the institution of the white house and the offices. does it send a signal of any kind of nervousness as this probe is clearly preding. >> dick whenny didn't have to have his own four months into his first term. it is somebody extraordinary that so many high ranking officials are having to lawyer up in this way as they prepare for the russia probe to heat up. the president is not doing any favors by his twitter handle. >> why are you all focusing so much on his tweets about
mueller, he is also tweeting about apprenticeships and other things, but this is very news worthy. these are statements by the president of the united states. he is also attacking hillary clinton in a campaign that i think ended -- >> putting aside he can't let the election go, i think the reason you're covering the tweets is because it is highly unusual for a president being investigated to be making comments about an active investigation. normally a lawyer would quash all of that. >> the guidance is for what he has been doing, but the president keeps stepping on that and digging himself deeper and deeper which is not just a big public relations problem, but a legal problem for him. >> i'm not a lawyer, i don't play one on television, but when you consult the lawyers, they would tell you that every tweet
can contribute to the pattern, they are presidential statements, if there will be a case of obstruction or whatever, he is making statements about an active investigation. >> and he is also not doing himself -- aside from the he will g-- he will galegalities o look at how it is completely overshadowed the announcement that he is about to make for cuba. there is no other message coming from the white house except panic about the russia probe. >> the leaked e-mails, and had husband meet with ag days before
she was cleared. committee hearings, about my collusion with the russians, no one has been able to show any proof, sad. 100 million people, i can go on and on. this can be a tweet storm behind the pictures that we see for that picture of air force one landed in miami. >> the news they want to make today, but the president stepped on that. i guess the news media and democrats are thrilled. he is digging himself deeper and deeper. they are also nonsensical. the fact that the vice president hired his own legal council for his own protection is unprecedented. number two he clearly doesn't
trust trump and trump is showing that he is erratic and not being responsible. if he was being responsible, he would stop commenting on the investigation. >> stephanie cutter and elise jordan. cuba crack down. i can see air force one is in miami. an already very important center of his support in miami. the president set to announce that he is clamping down on travel and trade ties with cuba. think again. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at esd.ny.gov
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president trump has now arrived in miami, he will be announcing a shift from the key part of his campaign policy. gabe, you're there in old havana, and it will be dramatically affected by the president's revisions. >> that's exactly right. you were here a few days ago. it will now be harder for americans to travel to cuba alone, not in a tour group, and they will not be able to spend any money for businesses owned
by the military. the president is expected to announce that certain industries and companies will be exempted from these cruise ships, airlines, and because of the impact of what this will be, do not anything tied to the military. i want to tell you about the reaction here in cuba from the involvemen government. in today's state run newspaper, there is a full-page article on page seven. the article is toned, it does not blame president trump necessarily. the harsh criticism of what they see as hardliners in miami. cubans here on the ground are worried and concerned that this might prevent engagement between the u.s. and cuba in the future.
>> gabe, thank you so much. senator path leihy joins me now. government officials are very discreet about this. they don't want to stir the pot. there will be a statement, we expect, from bruno in the u.n., but they are concerned about the economy and the future, and notices from air b and b sent the notice out that 40 minute dollars went into the pockets of average people whom we met that are renting out rooms in the last year and a half. >> i spent time with a group of
women running air b and bs. just tremendous entrepreneurs, there is a lot of those around. there is a concern though that neither president trump or any of the people around him have spent time in cuba. they are dealing with a reality of this. the first time i met with fidel castro, i said it is the best thing you have going for you. blame a failed economic system, a failed political system, you can blame it on the united states. what happens if we turn back the efforts we make to open up. you watch china and russia that will say you can't trust the
united states, you can trust us. >> russia just won the contract to build cuba's new railroad. >> and they have forgiven billions of dollars in debt, doing the things that we should be doing. >> no one can deny the human rights cditions in cuba. the lack of a free press, compared to erdogan in turkey -- >> or saudi arabia or the philippines, he talks about going out and murdering people. we have a fear cuba? it makes no sense. is there repression in cuba? yes. will it get better, yes, it will. you have been there many times, you know it is two steps toward
and one step back. today our flag went up, the wan said we always liked the united states and cuba your relationship with cuba is like a stone shoe. when that flag went up, the stone came out of our shoe. it kind of says it all, i'm afraid that donald trump and the people around him who know nothing about cuba that just want to make the twitter feed, they're going to set back the people of cuba and our relationship with cuba. >> what is the chance for your bill, 55 sponsors, ten republicans, it could lift some of the travel restrictions.
>> you can't get to the floor with mitch mcconnell. >> if this bill comes to the floor, to hope up these restrictions, it will pass, if it was turned out to the american people, it would be passed overwhelmingly. we don't give carte blanche, but right now you can go to any country in the world you want, provided they want you in. that is wrong. >> i want to ask you about rob rosenstein. the president saying he is under investigation for firing jim comey by the man who told him to fire jim comey. there is a lot of inaccuracy in that, but he seems to be confirming the investigation. >> i was private practice and i
was a prosecutor. if i was mr. trump's lawyer, i would saw i can't continue to represent you unless you give me all of your twitter equipment and never go on that again. president trump is hurting his own case. every time he goes on, i can see the special investigators -- >> some of the president's tweets this morning seem to be a precursor to some action against rob rosen stestein. this has, would have, so many of the echos, something happening just before i came to the senate, the saturday night mas
massacre.collasal mistake. some of the most loyal sporters would say it is a mistake. >> what would happen if mueller is fired. i think it is something like that happened, then you can have independent investigation, something like the water gate investigation. >> senator, tomorrow actually is the 45th anniversary of the break in at water gate. if you think about it, it is a relatively small crime, but what they're trying to do here, but i
would say get off of that darn twitter feed because that is digging you in deeper every time you do. >> i think this may be something you're on agreement with with some of the white house staff. >> i think i am, i know i am, because i have talked with some of them privately. >> thank you, senator, thank you for coming in and sharing your thoughts on a friday. >> pardon the interruption, pamela harris was again cut off by a male colleague. i promise we will not interrupt. (vo) pro plan bright mind
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are you willing to do as has been done before? >> would the senator suspend, the chair will exercise their right to let the witnesses answer their question. >> mr. chairman, respectfully, i point out this witness has joked, as we all have his ability to -- >> you ask these questions and you rely on that policy. did you not ask your staff to show you the policy -- >> chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question. >> senators will allow the chair to control the hearing. senator harris, let him answer.
>> please do. >> senator pamela harris, a freshman senator, but a former trach district of california. she was interpreted midsentence and then shutdown by male republican colleagues for a series of hearings for the past week. let's get the inside scoop. welcome both to you. susan, you've covered the hill a great deal in the past. the interpretations were really stunning and note worthy. >> yes, and also i've been a female for a while, so when i saw what happened with senator harris, i think it's something that every woman who's ever been in a conversation recognizes. she was no more aggressive than
the oregon senator that questioned before her, and he did not get interpreted. >> you've also been a woman for a while. >> craw, number of years now. and like many women in our business, have often been frequently interpreted, talked over. it does come with the territory. certainly, she knows it comes with the territory. it came with the territory in her previous job. but she can handle herself. it was remarkable, and i mean people were keeping track in realtime of how many times she was interpreted. that's not just a good luck for a bunch of white republican centers. >> and for a harvard review study, it doesn't matter how powerful you are, because their study showsthality female justs of the supreme court of the united states are three times more likely to be interpreted by their male colleagues than the
men were, which is pretty stunning. >> it is remarkable. and i think it's something women, you're going to have to learn how to deal with it. you have to figure out how you deal with it, and that puts you in this terrible bind. because either you let it go or you lookditionally confrontational by calling them out on it. >> you're both at the top of your professions. you're a bureau chief. you've covered the pentagon, the state department, a top political reporter. it doesn't matter where you land, it's the same gender reaction in broadcasting, in print journalism. it's really interesting for the women on the hill because you have diane feinstein, who's the senate intelligence chair. and she did get in very deep in extended yearslong confrontation with tom brennen over a major
substantive issue, but it got so fraught. and there's always gender implications. >> i'm sorry to interrupt, but i do think the women who are involved, the more sensitivity there is to not being clueless about when you're interpreting someone. so that may be a ray of hope because 20% of the congress is female. that's not very high. maybe if and when that proportion gets to be a more even distribution, something like this would not have happened. >> heat me pivot to a couple of things we've all been covering. anne, you've been to havana and know how big this issue is, how pote it is. but centers on the hill say the policies are really changing. the signatory proponents 06 this change, even they did not get everything they wanted. >> no. it really feels like a debate from 15 years ago, and
clearly -- i mean the obama administration was criticized for not catching up to reality fast enough and making this kind of move even earlier. clearly the implications for chinese and russian business expansion in cuba have been there for more than a decade. it's already happening. european companies as well. the business imperative and the pressure from hoteliers, and others, the travel industry to get into the that business existed and still exists. this is going to be, i think, a long time to kind of write it, to right this ship. >> the association of manufacturers, the chamber of commerce, the agricultural states, you're from congress and kbroi how important those exports have been. these tweets from the president
of the united states, now i can guarantee there's going be headlines about him confirming he's under investigation and an implied threat against rod rosenstein. >> he seems to be threatening rod rosenstein, the guy over seeing the special counsel, this on top on the anger we've heard already to bob mueller, the special counsel who's at work now. and it's raised these concerns by diane feinstein, the senator from california, and others that he may be considering, contemplating firing them. which i think may create a political crisis that dwarves the likes of which we've seen so far. >> when nancy pelosi told me here he needs more sleep, and should stop tweeting and pat leahy says he needs to putdown his devices. this is the advice of democrats. he may not take it. moving on, president trump about
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don't go too far. i want to show everyone this scene in miami. any minute now president trump expected to arrive from the airport at this theater. he's also expected to announce a partial reversal of president obama's cuba policy. in attendance a slew of top republicans including senator marco rubio. now, normally this would be the biggest story of the day, but it has competition on this friday from none other than the president himself. at exactly 9:07 this morning president trump took to twitter and up ended his go-to talking point throughout this entire russia investigation that he's not under investigation. here's what the president said. quote, i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director, witch-hunt. now, at first glance it would appear